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The Five Most Important Things I Tell My Children At Bedtime

Jennifer Mulholland
April 21, 2016

How do we teach others to believe in themselves? How do we empower them to make positive choices?

As co-leader of Plenty, as a strategist, and as a parent myself, these are questions that occupy my mind frequently as I work to cultivate and nurture the potential of others – especially my children, Riley (11yrs) and Hadley (5yrs).

Parenting is a giant experiment and daily practice. It is one of the hardest and most joy filled roles I’ve ever played. In a given day, I can learn a deeper expression of love, patience, communication, courage, compassion, and empathy. In a given day, I am given opportunities to practice being human - I am consistently given the opportunity to practice kindness and connection rather than frustration and reaction.

Our children, and those around us, teach us the lessons we most need to learn on our life path and we are each given the opportunity to model the behaviors we wish to see emulated in the world. Finding what works is a giant experiment that takes reflection and awareness of what we want to repeat from our own upbringing and what no longer serves us. With each generation, we are given the opportunity to create a new or repeat what we believe is most important. Different techniques work for the unique personality of each individual. There is no cookie cutter solution or instruction manual that tells us how to do it best. Life beckons us to share what works with one another. Different approaches work for different people at different times. To discover what is working for you, ask yourself:

  • What values, principles, and behaviors am I displaying in my communications and actions?
  • Are these messages shaping positive, empowering behaviors? Or,
  • Are these messages limiting the unique expression and gifts of myself and others?

Seriously, ask yourself these questions. Look at the answers and if they are not the ones you want, make the choice to change them. You have that power and you can alter what you are modeling at any given moment.

One of the greatest rituals that I’ve incorporated into my daily parenting routine is The 5 Most Important Things. This bedtime ritual helps me form a positive foundation that empowers my children to make positive choices on their own. I often hear Riley and Hadley referring to them unexpectedly and in the appropriate context, which shows me they are applying these foundational beliefs into their behavior.

Here are The 5 Most Important Things I tell my children at bedtime:

  1. Always be your best.
  2. Speak your truth and shine your light.
  3. You can achieve anything you can put your mind to.
  4. Mommy and Daddy love you and each other no matter what.
  5. You are what you take time to become. 

These five principles come from within us, from past generations, and our lineage. If you resonate with this ritual, I encourage you to create your own 5 Most Important Things, and share them with us by commenting on this post.

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